The institute

Who are we 

The Institut Français in the UAE is the cooperation and cultural action department of the French Embassy. It seeks to promote French creation, thought and language, and foster cultural, artistic, educational, academic and scientific exchanges between France and the United Arab Emirates. As such, it is the cooperation contact entity in the UAE for the Regional Advisors in their sector (Health, Justice, Nuclear, Agriculture…). It follows the cultural, educational and health components of the Franco-Emirates strategic dialogue.


Its activity therefore covers a vast field of action. It organizes events for visual arts, performing arts, cinema, debate… It supports French cultural, academic and educational institutions, the French audiovisual sector as well as the cultural and creative industries in their development projects carried out in the United Arab Emirates.

France’s Cooperation Actions in the United Arab Emirates

France’s attractiveness policy in the United Arab Emirates is based on a large network of French players in the fields of education, research and culture. This network is based on 7 approved schools, 3 Alliances françaises in Abu Dhabi (with a branch in Al Ain), Dubai and Sharjah, two universities (Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, Paris II-Panthéon-Assas in Dubai), Agence France Muséums, which has been supporting the Louvre Abu Dhabi since 2007, an archaeological mission, a Research Center with regional scope (CEFREPA), a Management School (INSEAD), a Fashion School (ESMOD-Dubai), a Code School (42 Abu Dhabi), and the French Institute: They all actively participate in the influence of France, the development of Francophonie and France better understanding of the United Arab Emirates and the region.

Cultural Cooperation

France and the United Arab Emirates are deeply involved in cultural cooperation. The opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, inaugurated by the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron in 2017, is a milestone in the sustained exchanges between our two countries in the cultural sector as a whole, including the plastic and visual arts, design, architecture, books and publishing, and music.

Audiovisual Cooperation

The audiovisual and cinematographic sector is a strong area of bilateral cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates. This cooperation is mainly based on five elements:


*     Dissemination of French cinema (both culturally and commercially) and the development of exchanges (co-productions)

*     Support for the export of French audiovisual programs to local television stations and video platforms

*     Development of the audience and visibility of French international radio and TV channels (Monte Carlo Doualiya, France 24, TV5 Monde, RFI, EURONEWS, FTV)

*     Training in the audiovisual field

*     More broadly, audiovisual cooperation extends to the cultural and creative industry sectors: video games, digital music, digital content, virtual reality.


This cooperation is carried out by a regional audiovisual attaché for the Middle East, based in Abu Dhabi, covering the following countries: Saudi Araba, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Yemen.

Academic and Scientific Cooperation

At the heart of the new international stakes, cooperation in the fields of scientific research and higher education is a key element of French influence policy on the international scene. In the United Arab Emirates, the French Institute participates in this area through:


*     Identifying relevant cooperation agreements with the best Emirati universities and the support of French institutions wishing to become involved in this region of the world;

*     Supporting Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (SUAD), particularly for the diversification of its training and research offer, for the permanent consolidation of its place in the regional academic, economic, institutional and intellectual landscape. SUAD is the only French-speaking university in the Arab Gulf.


*     Promoting studies in France with the Campus France operator in the UAE. The wide variety of training programs of excellence, in France and on French branch campuses, of which more than 1,200 are available in English, and the quality of the support provided to each applicant, support a positive dynamic of French attractiveness.


*     Scientific mobilization around events and debates at the national and regional levels, on all themes of interest to both France and the host country.


*     Supporting the French Archaeological Mission since 1977.

Judicial and Medical Cooperation

Bilateral judicial cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates is long-standing; it is based on the kinship between French and UAE law, on the presence in the Emirates of many French-speaking jurists; and it is developing in particular thanks to the training activities carried out by the National School of Magistrates (ENM) with the three main judicial training institutes of the Emirates and its participation in important regional projects. France’s actions for the protection of intellectual property (including copyright) are numerous and are carried out jointly by the Economic Service and the French Institute when the subject or the circumstances warrant such an action.


In the medical field, an agreement in force since 2011 organizes the specialization in France of an annual contingent of eighteen Emirati doctors, under conditions identical to those of French interns. Many Emirati doctors have therefore been trained in France and maintain strong professional and emotional ties with our country.

Linguistic Cooperation

The mission of the UAE French Institute is to promote the French language among the Emirati educational authorities and to assist in the dissemination and development of the French language among the general public by focusing its activities on three major areas:


–      Promotion of the learning of French

–      Linguistic cooperation

–      Certification in French language